Welcome, Guest

Sign in to learn, create, and do more with the product you love.

News & Updates

Filters:
Tag
NEW
Embedded thumbnail for Design RF PCB: routing (any angle, arc)
RF PCB Design
Design RF PCB: routing (any angle, arc)

It is worth taking a responsible approach to the shape and size of the RF signal conductors. In this video we will cover some practical aspects of working with routing such nets in Altium Designer.

NEW
Embedded thumbnail for Component Placement in Rigid-flex PCB
Working with MCAD CoDesigner extension
Component Placement in Rigid-flex PCB

With the MCAD CoDesigner you can quickly add and move components from your MCAD tool and update the design automatically in Altium Designer. We’ll show you how to add a new component, move components, change a component’s region in MCAD, and update your design in Altium Designer.

Pad and via sizing
Blog
PCB Via Size and Pad Size Guidelines

There are some aspects of PCB design and layout that seem deceptively simple, and yet they have a complex answer that is related to many important aspects of manufacturing. One of these design aspects is the match between PCB via size and pad size. Obviously, these two points are related; all vias have a landing pad that supports the via and provides a place to route traces into a via pad. However, there are some important sizing guidelines to follow when the matching pad and via sizes, and this match is an important element of DFM and reliability.

Preparing your files for Fabrication Release
On-Demand Webinar
Preparing your files for Fabrication Release

When you’re done creating a new board, it’s time to send your design data to the manufacturer. Before releasing your designs, you’ll want to make sure that everything is ready and works as intended. In this informative video, we’ll review some of the must-have checks before sending your output data for fabrication.

Differential Microstrip Impedance
Blog
Differential Microstrip Impedance Calculator

Are you looking for a free tool that you can use to calculate the impedance of differential microstrips? We created a simple tool you can use to calculate differential microstrip impedance for a given geometry and dielectric constant. If you’ve been looking for an accurate differential microstrip impedance calculator, then the calculator below is certainly one of the best free tools you’ll find on the internet before you start using field solvers to determine differential pair impedance.

Embedded thumbnail for Transmission lines (coplanar)
RF PCB Design
Transmission lines (coplanar)

The boards use transmission lines to carry high-frequency signals. In addition to microstrip lines, coplanar transmission lines with a ground reference polygon are often found on boards. Coplanar transmission lines propagate the same wave type as microstrip transmission lines, but the electromagnetic field is more concentrated near the conductor, so coplanar lines have lower losses at high frequencies, less dispersion, and less interference to adjacent circuits.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Reuse Board Shapes in MCAD
Working with MCAD CoDesigner extension
How to Reuse Board Shapes in MCAD

You can use the MCAD Co-designer panel to reuse your board shape or geometry in your PCB. We’ll show you how to use the MCAD Co-designer panel in Altium Designer and how to copy your board shape and geometry from your MCAD tool to Altium Designer.

PCB DFM Check
Blog
Getting Through a PCB DFM Check

In this article, we’ll discuss the key design features to implement, and steps to take prior to fabrication that will help prevent some common DFM problems. I’ll also provide examples of where I commonly see these PCB DFM problems in signal integrity circuits.

Embedded thumbnail for Selection filter - Panel Properties and PCB
How to work with Selection
Selection filter - Panel Properties and PCB

Learn how to configure the types of selected objects using the Selection Filter. In addition, you will learn about the Post Selection Filter and its features.

Spreading Inductance
Blog
What is Spreading Inductance?

If you’re working with a high-speed digital component, there are some simple power integrity rules that should be followed. However, there is one quantity that is sometimes ignored when building a PDN impedance simulation: the spreading inductance of your plane pair. Here are some points designers should know about the spreading inductance of a plane pair.

Embedded thumbnail for PCB Origins During the ECAD MCAD Exchange
Working with MCAD CoDesigner extension
PCB Origins During the ECAD MCAD Exchange

Origins can vary from your MCAD tool and Altium Designer. With the MCAD Co-Designer panel Altium Designer can keep track of your origin point and make sure your design changes are exchanged correctly.

Embedded thumbnail for Global Editing Using Find Similar Objects
How to work with Selection
Global Editing Using Find Similar Objects

Editing multiple objects one by one can be a very time consuming process. Altium Designer makes this easy and efficient with the Find Similar Objects tool, which allows you to globally select and edit multiple objects at once.

PCB Design Basics for New Designers
Blog
PCB Design Basics for New Designers

In this article, I’ll present some design basics that every new designer should follow to help ensure their design process is successful. Some of these points may challenge the conventional view of how circuit boards are constructed, but they are intended to help balance low noise signaling, manufacturability, and ease of solving a layout.

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
Efficient PCB Routing Using Gloss and Retrace Tools

The primary goal of your traces is to carry signals throughout your board without losses. To do this properly, you must familiarize yourself with the requirements for signals on the printed circuit board and how to optimize the topology of the board in terms of signal integrity. We will analyze the most popular routing cases applicable for using the Gloss and Retrace tools in Altium Designer to optimize your signal integrity.

Selecting Materials for High Voltage PCB Design and Layout
Blog
Selecting Materials for High Voltage PCB Design and Layout

High voltage PCBs are subject to certain safety and reliability concerns that you won’t find in most other boards. If your fabrication house specializes in high voltage PCBs and keeps materials in stock, they can likely recommend a material set, as well as a standard stackup you might use for certain voltage ranges and frequencies. If you need to choose your own materials, follow the tips below to help you narrow down to the right material set.

Embedded thumbnail for Shaping the PCB in MCAD
Working with MCAD CoDesigner extension
Shaping the PCB in MCAD

Through the MCAD Co-designer in Altium Designer, you can collaborate with a mechanical engineer to shape the PCB in your MCAD tool and keep it updated in Altium Designer. We’ll show you how in Altium Designer and in your MCAD tool.

Embedded thumbnail for Cross Select Mode
How to work with Selection
Cross Select Mode

Cross Select Mode is a unique tool that allows for cross-selection of objects between the schematic and PCB thanks to the Altium Unified platform. This makes it easy to look for specific components, as well as take advantage of component placement tools.

Embedded thumbnail for Polygon Pours
Working with Polygons
Polygon Pours

Polygon pours are used to create copper geometries on your board. You can prioritize polygon pour order, hide them to make it easier to work on your board, and repour them to resolve design rule conflicts.

Via tenting in PCB Layout
Blog
When to Use Tented Vias in Your PCB Layout

There are some guidelines I see many designers implement as a standard practice, often without thinking about it. Some of these practices are misunderstood or implemented without best practices. Others are implemented without thinking about the potential problems. One of these is the use of tented vias, which is sometimes implemented in a PCB layout by default. Is this always the right practice?

Embedded thumbnail for Tools for Efficient Selection
How to work with Selection
Tools for Efficient Selection

Efficient selection tools can make a difference in how long and how clean your design can be. Learn how to utilize the Edit Select Menu tools in Altium Designer to take control over your layout.

Tag
Pad and via sizing
Blog
PCB Via Size and Pad Size Guidelines

There are some aspects of PCB design and layout that seem deceptively simple, and yet they have a complex answer that is related to many important aspects of manufacturing. One of these design aspects is the match between PCB via size and pad size. Obviously, these two points are related; all vias have a landing pad that supports the via and provides a place to route traces into a via pad. However, there are some important sizing guidelines to follow when the matching pad and via sizes, and this match is an important element of DFM and reliability.

Differential Microstrip Impedance
Blog
Differential Microstrip Impedance Calculator

Are you looking for a free tool that you can use to calculate the impedance of differential microstrips? We created a simple tool you can use to calculate differential microstrip impedance for a given geometry and dielectric constant. If you’ve been looking for an accurate differential microstrip impedance calculator, then the calculator below is certainly one of the best free tools you’ll find on the internet before you start using field solvers to determine differential pair impedance.

PCB DFM Check
Blog
Getting Through a PCB DFM Check

In this article, we’ll discuss the key design features to implement, and steps to take prior to fabrication that will help prevent some common DFM problems. I’ll also provide examples of where I commonly see these PCB DFM problems in signal integrity circuits.

Spreading Inductance
Blog
What is Spreading Inductance?

If you’re working with a high-speed digital component, there are some simple power integrity rules that should be followed. However, there is one quantity that is sometimes ignored when building a PDN impedance simulation: the spreading inductance of your plane pair. Here are some points designers should know about the spreading inductance of a plane pair.

PCB Design Basics for New Designers
Blog
PCB Design Basics for New Designers

In this article, I’ll present some design basics that every new designer should follow to help ensure their design process is successful. Some of these points may challenge the conventional view of how circuit boards are constructed, but they are intended to help balance low noise signaling, manufacturability, and ease of solving a layout.

Selecting Materials for High Voltage PCB Design and Layout
Blog
Selecting Materials for High Voltage PCB Design and Layout

High voltage PCBs are subject to certain safety and reliability concerns that you won’t find in most other boards. If your fabrication house specializes in high voltage PCBs and keeps materials in stock, they can likely recommend a material set, as well as a standard stackup you might use for certain voltage ranges and frequencies. If you need to choose your own materials, follow the tips below to help you narrow down to the right material set.

Via tenting in PCB Layout
Blog
When to Use Tented Vias in Your PCB Layout

There are some guidelines I see many designers implement as a standard practice, often without thinking about it. Some of these practices are misunderstood or implemented without best practices. Others are implemented without thinking about the potential problems. One of these is the use of tented vias, which is sometimes implemented in a PCB layout by default. Is this always the right practice?

Capacitive load termination
Blog
How to Impedance Match and Terminate Capacitive Loads

The idea of a purely capacitive load is something of a fallacy. Yes, capacitors exist, but all capacitors are non-ideal, and it is this deviation from a theoretical capacitance that determines how to impedance match a load that exhibits capacitive behavior. Let’s take a look at this important aspect of interconnect design and see what it really means to terminate a capacitive load.

Using Altium 365 Over Your Vanilla Version Control System
Blog
Using Altium 365 Over Your Vanilla Version Control System

There are all sorts of version control systems out there that people have been using with their PCB design software. As discussed in Why Use a Version Control System, we looked at different options ranging for local hard drive storage to sophisticated online revisioning systems. In this article we will be reviewing the differences between a standard VCS and Altium 365.

Why Use a Version Control System in PCB Design
Blog
Why Use a Version Control System in PCB Design

Version Control Systems (VCS) have been around for many decades within the software world but can be surprisingly new to some folks in the electronics design industry. This article will cover what a VCS is, what it does, and why you should be using one for your PCB design projects.

IPC 6012 Class 3 Annular Ring
Blog
Meeting Standards: IPC 6012 Class 3 Annular Ring

Designers often conflate leftover annular ring and pad sizes - they need to place a sufficiently large pad size on the surface layer to ensure that the annular ring that is leftover during fabrication will be large enough. As long as the annular ring is sufficiently large, the drill hit will not be considered defective and the board will have passed inspection. In this article, I'll discuss the limits on IPC-6012 Class 3 annular rings as these are a standard fabrication requirement for high-reliability rigid PCBs.

PCB fabrication notes
Blog
Decoding PCB Fabrication Notes

Sending a board out for fabrication is an exciting and nerve-wracking moment. Why not just give your fabricator your design files and let them figure it out? There are a few reasons for this, but it means the responsibility comes back to you as the designer to produce manufacturing files and documentation for your PCB. It’s actually quite simple if you have the right design tools. We’ll look at how you can do this inside your PCB layout and how this will help you quickly generate data for your manufacturer.

HDI PCB design and HDI PCB manufacturing process
Blog
Design Basics for HDI and the HDI PCB Manufacturing Process

As the world of technology has evolved, so has the need to pack more capabilities into smaller packages. PCBs designed using high-density interconnect techniques tend to be smaller as more components are packed in a smaller space. An HDI PCB uses blind, buried, and micro vias, vias in pads, and very thin traces to pack more components into a smaller area. We’ll show you the design basics for HDI and how Altium Designer® can help you create a powerful HDI PCB.

All About PCB Test Points
Blog
Is It Printed or a Component? All About PCB Test Points

Test points in your electronic assembly will give you a location to access components and take important measurements to verify functionality. If you’ve never used a test point or you’re not sure if you need test points, keep reading to see what options you have for test point usage in your PCB layout.

How to Design to a Differential Impedance Specification
Blog
How to Design to a Differential Impedance Specification

The concept and implementation of differential impedance are both sometimes misunderstood. In addition, the design of a channel to reach a specific differential impedance is often done in a haphazard way. The very concept of differential impedance is something of a mathematical construct that doesn’t fully capture the behavior of each signal in a differential trace. Keep reading to see a bit more depth on how to design to a differential impedance spec and exactly what it means for your design.

Tag
NEW
Embedded thumbnail for Design RF PCB: routing (any angle, arc)
RF PCB Design
Design RF PCB: routing (any angle, arc)

It is worth taking a responsible approach to the shape and size of the RF signal conductors. In this video we will cover some practical aspects of working with routing such nets in Altium Designer.

NEW
Embedded thumbnail for Component Placement in Rigid-flex PCB
Working with MCAD CoDesigner extension
Component Placement in Rigid-flex PCB

With the MCAD CoDesigner you can quickly add and move components from your MCAD tool and update the design automatically in Altium Designer. We’ll show you how to add a new component, move components, change a component’s region in MCAD, and update your design in Altium Designer.

Embedded thumbnail for Transmission lines (coplanar)
RF PCB Design
Transmission lines (coplanar)

The boards use transmission lines to carry high-frequency signals. In addition to microstrip lines, coplanar transmission lines with a ground reference polygon are often found on boards. Coplanar transmission lines propagate the same wave type as microstrip transmission lines, but the electromagnetic field is more concentrated near the conductor, so coplanar lines have lower losses at high frequencies, less dispersion, and less interference to adjacent circuits.

Embedded thumbnail for How to Reuse Board Shapes in MCAD
Working with MCAD CoDesigner extension
How to Reuse Board Shapes in MCAD

You can use the MCAD Co-designer panel to reuse your board shape or geometry in your PCB. We’ll show you how to use the MCAD Co-designer panel in Altium Designer and how to copy your board shape and geometry from your MCAD tool to Altium Designer.

Embedded thumbnail for Selection filter - Panel Properties and PCB
How to work with Selection
Selection filter - Panel Properties and PCB

Learn how to configure the types of selected objects using the Selection Filter. In addition, you will learn about the Post Selection Filter and its features.

Embedded thumbnail for PCB Origins During the ECAD MCAD Exchange
Working with MCAD CoDesigner extension
PCB Origins During the ECAD MCAD Exchange

Origins can vary from your MCAD tool and Altium Designer. With the MCAD Co-Designer panel Altium Designer can keep track of your origin point and make sure your design changes are exchanged correctly.

Embedded thumbnail for Global Editing Using Find Similar Objects
How to work with Selection
Global Editing Using Find Similar Objects

Editing multiple objects one by one can be a very time consuming process. Altium Designer makes this easy and efficient with the Find Similar Objects tool, which allows you to globally select and edit multiple objects at once.

Embedded thumbnail for Shaping the PCB in MCAD
Working with MCAD CoDesigner extension
Shaping the PCB in MCAD

Through the MCAD Co-designer in Altium Designer, you can collaborate with a mechanical engineer to shape the PCB in your MCAD tool and keep it updated in Altium Designer. We’ll show you how in Altium Designer and in your MCAD tool.

Embedded thumbnail for Cross Select Mode
How to work with Selection
Cross Select Mode

Cross Select Mode is a unique tool that allows for cross-selection of objects between the schematic and PCB thanks to the Altium Unified platform. This makes it easy to look for specific components, as well as take advantage of component placement tools.

Embedded thumbnail for Polygon Pours
Working with Polygons
Polygon Pours

Polygon pours are used to create copper geometries on your board. You can prioritize polygon pour order, hide them to make it easier to work on your board, and repour them to resolve design rule conflicts.

Embedded thumbnail for Tools for Efficient Selection
How to work with Selection
Tools for Efficient Selection

Efficient selection tools can make a difference in how long and how clean your design can be. Learn how to utilize the Edit Select Menu tools in Altium Designer to take control over your layout.

Embedded thumbnail for Polygon Connect Styles
Working with Polygons
Polygon Connect Styles

Define how vias and pads connect to polygons with a design rule. Customize the thermal relief width, number, and rotation as well as the air gap width.

Embedded thumbnail for Tools for Easily Selecting Objects in the PCB
How to work with Selection
Tools for Easily Selecting Objects in the PCB

Explore more than basic mouse movements by taking a look at the tools that Altium Designer has to offer for making selecting and moving objects in the PCB an easy task. This will increase your productivity and allow you to spend more time designing

Embedded thumbnail for Remove Unused Pad Shapes
Working with Polygons
Remove Unused Pad Shapes

Unused pad shapes create holes in your copper geometries. You can quickly examine all pads in the design to remove unused pad shapes and restore previously removed pads. 

Embedded thumbnail for How to Work with The Polygon Manager
Working with Polygons
How to Work with The Polygon Manager

It is important to have a high-level view of all polygons on the PCB design. The Polygon Manager lets you rename polygons, set their pour order, perform re-pouring or disable pouring on selected polygons, add/scope the polygon connection style and clearance design rules, and add polygon classes for selected polygons.

Embedded thumbnail for Assigning Impedance Profiles for Differential Pairs
How to Work with Differential Pairs
Assigning Impedance Profiles for Differential Pairs

When you assign an impedance profile to a differential pair you open up several options for control over your routes. We'll show you how to do just that, as well as how to fix errors that may pop up and how to create classes for differential pairs based on assigned impedance profiles.

Tag
Preparing your files for Fabrication Release
On-Demand Webinar
Preparing your files for Fabrication Release

When you’re done creating a new board, it’s time to send your design data to the manufacturer. Before releasing your designs, you’ll want to make sure that everything is ready and works as intended. In this informative video, we’ll review some of the must-have checks before sending your output data for fabrication.

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
Efficient PCB Routing Using Gloss and Retrace Tools

The primary goal of your traces is to carry signals throughout your board without losses. To do this properly, you must familiarize yourself with the requirements for signals on the printed circuit board and how to optimize the topology of the board in terms of signal integrity. We will analyze the most popular routing cases applicable for using the Gloss and Retrace tools in Altium Designer to optimize your signal integrity.

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
Length Matching in High Speed Buses

With ever increasing speeds in high-speed data systems comes a couple of PCB layout challenges. High-speed busses like DDR, VME, PCIe just to mention a few can all reach data transfer speeds that require strict timing with very tight tolerances, thereby leaving very little slack in the PCB layout. Watch this on-demand webinar to learn why it's imperative to match track lengths in high-speed data systems and differential signals. You’ll see how to properly define PCB length matching and time delay constraints, and how to effectively route high-speed signals in Altium Designer®.

Simple Simulation in Altium Designer
On-Demand Webinar
SPICE Simulation Made Simple

SPICE simulation saves you critical time in the prototyping phase. Understanding your simulation interface makes it simple to analyze how your circuits work in different scenarios. Altium Designer provides an intuitive, dedicated interface to support your simulation verification, setup, and analysis directly in your schematic environment. You also benefit from growing support for popular model formats, as well as generic models, simplifying circuit definition and simulation.

Altium Designer Signal Integrity
On-Demand Webinar
What is High-Speed Design?

The primary source of high-speed problems is not due to high clock frequency but rather the fast rise and fall times of component signals. With fast edge rates, reflections may occur at the receiver side, and when the board routing is dense, crosstalk may become a problem. During this webinar, you'll sharpen your knowledge and develop new skills that you can use to design High-Speed PCB's more efficiently and effectively.

Altium Designer Interface
On-Demand Webinar
What is High-Speed Design?

The primary source of high-speed problems is not due to high clock frequency but rather the fast rise and fall times of component signals. With fast edge rates, reflections may occur at the receiver side, and when the board routing is dense, crosstalk may become a problem. During this webinar, you'll sharpen your knowledge and develop new skills that you can use to design High-Speed PCB's more efficiently and effectively. 

Simple Simulation in Altium Designer
On-Demand Webinar
SPICE Simulation Made Simple

SPICE simulation saves you critical time in the prototyping phase. Understanding your simulation interface makes it simple to analyze how your circuits work in different scenarios. Altium Designer provides an intuitive, dedicated interface to support your simulation verification, setup, and analysis directly in your schematic environment. You also benefit from growing support for popular model formats, as well as generic models, simplifying circuit definition and simulation.

Webinar slides
On-Demand Webinar
Designing PCBs 5x Faster Despite the Pandemic | Customer Success | Kinetic Vision

Kinetic Vision, a Cincinnati-based design, engineering, and development firm, is an innovator’s one-stop shop for transforming even the wildest ideas into real products. The company’s design approach keeps everything in-house, including industrial design, mechanical, and electrical design, as well as, engineering, hardware/software development, machine learning, and sometimes even short-run production. Watch this webinar to learn how Kinetic Vision uses the Altium 365 platform to enable a connected and frictionless PCB design experience, increasing their productivity 5 times even in the mid

Altium Designer interface
On-Demand Webinar
One-Stop Design Team Configuration

A heavy focus is usually put on managing your design data, but what about managing your design team? A mismanaged design team can lead to a disorganized and inaccurate design library and data. Watch this webinar to see how Altium 365 can help you to organize users into access restricted groups, manage design and designer access rights, avoid design conflicts when multiple members are working on the same design, and standardize your entire project using templates

SolidWorks interface
On-Demand Webinar
ECAD MCAD Capabilities For Today’s Most Demanding Designs

Working between the Electronic and Mechanical design domains brings unique challenges. ECAD and MCAD tools have different design objectives and have evolved down different paths, and so have the way they store and manage their design and project data. To successfully design these products, the designers must fluidly pass design changes back and forth between the ECAD and MCAD domains beyond outdated file exchanges.

Altium Designer Constraints Editor
On-Demand Webinar
Getting Started with Design Rules and Constraints

Getting started with design rules can sometimes be a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. Altium Designer has added a new design rules user interface along with a new way to define rules, while not compromising past methods. Now, rules and constraints have a design-centric view rather than a rules-centric view which allows for easier visualization and is less prone to error. Watch this video to learn how you can best utilize the improved Rules 2.0 design rule interface.

Altium Designer interface
On-Demand Webinar
ECAD-MCAD Collaboration for Improved Product Development

Working between the Electronic and Mechanical design domains brings unique challenges. ECAD and MCAD tools have different design objectives and have evolved down different paths, and so has the way they store and manage their design and project data. Watch this video to learn about seamless ECAD/MCAD Collaboration on the project, how to comments for other design teams and how to review, Approve or Reject design changes from your mechanical engineer.

Article preview
On-Demand Webinar
8 Reasons to Store Your Components in Altium 365

Working with local libraries seems like a simple solution, but we often don’t take into account the added time spent maintaining libraries and sharing them between team members. There is no good way to avoid duplicate efforts with component creation and no standardization to ensure consistent naming. Worst of all, there is no way to identify the latest component revision, and library files can be easily corrupted or misplaced. This webinar showcases the advantages of component storage in Аltium 365 to resolve the issues of local libraries and component management.

Webinar Preview
On-Demand Webinar
Group Editing Tools and Methods in Altium Designer Webinar

Do you ever have to edit a large group of objects on your design? Whether you are dealing with your schematic or PCB, this webinar will help you get acquainted with the main tools for group editing of objects in Altium Designer. You will also learn how to effectively apply group editing methods with filters and selection tools in different design scopes.

Share Designs and track changes easily
On-Demand Webinar
Using Version Control in Your PCB Project Webinar

Version control has been a staple of software development for decades, but hardware development can benefit just as much from a version control system (VCS). Traditionally, VCS has been managed locally tying you down to a workplace, but advances in cloud technology have removed that limitation. Learn how Altium 365 cloud technology enables working concurrently on designs with built-in version control and evaluate its advantages.

Webinar Preview
On-Demand Webinar
CoDesigner and MCAD Component Placement On-Demand Webinar

We design products not just PCBs requiring effective collaboration between MCAD and ECAD engineers. We need to consider how we can reduce the likelihood of errors when placing critical design components. Component placement in the context of enclosures can be easily handled in an MCAD environment while it is more difficult to achieve in the ECAD domain. Learn how to place components from the MCAD side and synchronize them with Altium Designer ECAD models, designators, and sourcing data to simplify your design process.